The Blue Jays must have learned their lesson last season when they used nine different starting pitchers other than their main five, and those replacement starters ended up going 9-28 with a 5.71 ERA. Thankfully, it’s been a different story altogether this season when it comes to the replacement starters Toronto has called upon.
Unlike 2017 when the Blue Jays used what must have been a franchise record number of replacement starting pitchers in one season, this year they’ve only had to use three. And of those three, both Sam Gaviglio and Ryan Borucki are proving to be legit big league starters.
With J.A. Happ and Marco Estrada hitting free agency this November, the timing of Gaviglio and Borucki stepping-up like they have couldn’t have been any better. It’s nice knowing that Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez should be here for years leading the pitching staff…but it’s almost a waste having such talent if you can’t fill the remaining spots in your rotation with pitchers worthy of being in the big leagues.
Gaviglio and Borucki pitching as well as they have provides the Blue Jays with hope that perhaps next years rotation won’t be as much of a weakness as many thought it was likely to be. Prospect wise, Toronto has some of the best position players in all of minor league baseball. Such a statement can’t be said about their pitching prospects. While despite some wonderful players (e.g. Nate Pearson, Sean Reid-Foley, T.J. Zeuch, Eric Pardinho), their stock of pitchers still doesn’t compare to the sheer number of talented position players currently in the Blue Jays system.
Toronto’s offense in the not-so-distant future isn’t likely to be a concern. How could it be with such gifted hitters as Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Danny Jansen steadily working their way to the big leagues. It’s their pitching they need to be concerned about. But at least with the solid play of Borucki and Gaviglio, Toronto’s pitching outlook is a heck of a lot better than originally thought.